Geico is most famous for their creative advertising and television commercials, and their little gecko mascot has made them one of the most widely-known companies in the nation. However, the origin of the company goes all the way back to 1936. A man named Leo Goodwin had worked for USAA, which provides insurance to military members and their families. Having risen through the ranks of that company as high as he could go, he decided to take the concept of USAA and apply it to government employees.
In fact, the name Geico stands for Government Employees Insurance Company, and for much of its early history that was their target market. In 1974, under new leadership, Geico began offering insurance to the general public. However, a rate of rapid expansion led to a massive loss of revenue, and the company was forced to reorganize and downsize.
Though initially offering only auto insurance, the company now provides many other types of insurance through its own direct sales infrastructure. Geico is currently the second largest insurance company in the country, with more than 13 million policy holders in all 50 states.
Geico offers some nice rates, and a customer with a good credit score is bound to get a really low quote. These low rates aren’t always available to high risk drivers, such as young adults or people with multiple accidents on their record. But for those in the right demographic with a clean record, Geico can be among the cheapest rates on the market.
Geico provides auto insurance to residents in all 50 states.
Geico has been providing auto insurance since 1936, giving the company a whopping 70+ years of business in the industry.
They offer a great selection of policy types, including all the features we like to see:
- Property damage: Yes
- Bodily injury liability: Yes
- Uninsured motorist: Yes
- Personal injury: Yes
- Collision: Yes
- Comprehensive: Yes
- Medical payments: Yes
- Rental: Yes
- Emergency road service: Yes
In addition to the standard coverage options, they also offer more specific options such as mechanical breakdown coverage and windshield replacement.
A woman driving a 2011 Toyota Camry would pay around $345.85 for a six-month period for the basic recommended features, which averages to about $58/month.
There are almost too many discounts to count, as organization affiliations and a host of other factors are taken into account, but it is safe to say there are at least 20+. Common discounts include.
- Experienced driver
- Good student
- Emergency deployment
- Financial responsibility
A couple more interesting ones include a 3 percent discount for vehicles with daytime running lights and up to 15 percent discount in case of accident if the driver was wearing a seatbelt.
The website has an Info Center that includes policy guides, a glossary of insurance terms, and state insurance guides, all of which should help consumers understand the process and their available options. Tips, videos and social media links are included. Some useful tools are also available, such as a rate calculator. Geico also posts customer reviews on their own website. In fact, as of this writing, there are over 12,550 reviews, each of them with a star rating and comments by current and former customers. The reviews can be accessed on their own page or viewed in a toolbar alongside policy and discount information.
Claims can be filed online or over the phone. The website provides a link to contact numbers, and the filing process online is fairly simple. Claims can also be tracked online, so customers should know exactly how things are progressing.
Geico’s free mobile phone app for iPhones and Android phones is remarkably well-reviewed. In fact, it is among the highest reviewed insurance apps on the market on both platforms. Android customers give it an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5, while iPhone users give the current version of the app a solid 5. Users love the fact that the app gives them full access to their insurance. From filing claims to requesting road assistance, there really isn’t much this app doesn’t do, and the interface is well designed. Honestly, this is the best insurance app we’ve seen out of all major insurance companies.
Even though Geico is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, the BBB website gives the company a solid A+ rating. This high score is based upon the relatively low complaint volume and the company’s diligence in resolving all outstanding complaints.
Some coverage options are notably lacking. For example, new vehicle owners will find that new car replacement and gap coverage are not available through Geico. Gap coverage pays off any remaining loan amount when the vehicle is totaled. Many people like to have this kind of coverage, so they don’t get stuck with payments for a vehicle they no longer own. It is surprising that Geico doesn’t offer it.
The website offers multiple contact numbers for claims filing instead of one overall number. For example, there is one number for vehicles, another for commercial vehicles, another for ridesharing, numerous numbers for boat claims, and dozens for home insurance claims. This could potentially become a frustration for customers who carry more than one type of insurance with Geico.
It should be pointed out that while Geico has thousands of customer reviews on their own website, the overall rating of these reviews is much higher than on other review sites, which is interesting. It is possible that some negative reviews are censored, though there is no proof of that. What is clear is that the customer reviews on the Geico website lean heavily toward 5-star reviews, and while there are some 1-star reviews, there are very few rants from angry customers. This is not the case on many independent review websites, where Geico receives plenty of criticism.
One common criticism is that Geico sometimes hikes insurance premium rates without explanation. Individual rate hikes can be steep and sometimes occur for no clear reason. Policyholders who have called customer service to inquire about rate hikes have in many cases simply been told that their policy was reevaluated. Whatever the case, the reevaluation process needs to be clarified. Customers should have at least some small idea of what to expect.
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